GDP may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025, according to analysis by recruiters Driver Require.

Its forecast data, interpreting the likely consequences for the UK economy and specifically the impact on the haulage and logistics sector, showed that the GDP drop for March was already more than the 2008 crisis and indications are it will continue to worsen until we are out of the lockdown phase.

Kieran Smith, Driver Require chief executive said average GDP forecast figures are -14% for Q2 2020 and -7% across the year.

He said: “We are waging war on a microbe, a deadly virus, and our challenge is to prevent mass deaths while propping up the economy to make sure it survives the crisis.

“No-one has ever had to do this in modern times.”

He added: “Ultimately, the longer the lockdown continues, the worse and longer the recession is likely to be.

“It is my belief that we will face a V-shaped partial recovery in late 2020 as we come out of full lockdown, followed by a U-shaped recession in the longer term.

“But this initial recovery will not be nearly enough to offset the massive drop in GDP in Q2, and GDP may not return to pre-pandemic levels until between 2023 and 2025.”